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psychiatrists and full-time treatment for ED

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    I’ve just started seeing a psychiatrist who I was referred to by CBT psychologist who felt I was too much of a handful 9I think). The psychiatrist wnats e to go on antidepressants for anxiety and 3 weeks or counselling at a special hospital for ED. I really don’t want to. They have a dietitian to make up meals indicidually, but you have to eat normal food and they have you eating cake for afternoon tea etc to train you to be able to eat all foods without leading to binging.

    When he told me I was a really bad case, the worst he had ever seen, and I need to take desperate measures, i felt so depressed.

    Has anyone ever been to one of these clinics eithyer as outpatient or inpatient.

    I wish i could just stop myself binging without all this drama.

    I would have to take 3 weeks off work and I have no leave left. I can’t afford to resign. But he indicated I was heading for death if I don’t act now.


    stay at home mom

    Hi Sara: It sounds both scary and positive to be offered this intensive treatment for the BED. I agree it seems so dramatic compared to your everyday routine, and having this ‘spotlight’ on a health issue is not easy for people who dislike being a centre of attention.

    I have a question as to whether in your treatment, will you be forced to eat what they put in front of you? Like with any meds, will you be allowed to refuse what you don’t want to eat?

    Can you afford a leave of absence without pay?



    stay at home mom

    Sara: another question I have about the treatment program– how do they simulate the experience of ‘normal eating’ when you are alone? It’s one thing to eat in moderation in front of a group or in front of a therapist…but how do they test if you are able to do it when no one watches?

    I understand if the Dr. has not yet given you this info. On the other hand, I think it’s good to have this info so that you can decide

    whether it’s worth 3 weeks away from your usual routines.



    Andrew B

    Hi Sara, wow that sounds really intense. Firstly, I hope you’re ok and secondly, I’m with Helen on this – has your psychiatrist given you enough information about the programme? I think he/she really needs to explain exactly how it will work in order for you to be able to make an informed decision about whether it’s worth it or not? I would be really intrigued to know how it works, because Helen’s right, it’s one thing to stop yourself from bingeing when you’re surrounded by other people in a restrictive environment, but what happens when you enter the big, bad world alone where food is everywhere in abundance. If you do do the programme, is there any way that you could take a leave of absence from work for medical reasons?



    Hi and thanks for your support.

    The way it works is that they have a dietitian who prepares a diet for each person individually. They have bulimics (which I am) and anorexics all in together , which they admit isn’t ideal, but each has their own diet.

    i checked whether they would be trying to increase the dietary requirements of bulimics in an attempt to stop the binging, and he said no, it would be maintenance calories. However, I would be forced to eat whatever was put in front of me, regardless of whether i liked it or had a reaction to it. I don’t think they would force me to eat meat as i’ve been vego since I was 14, but they purposely make you eat cake etc for afternoon tea, in a normal portion, to make you get used to being able to do it without “black nd white” behaviour eg, i ate the cake so now i have to binge and vomit.

    The thought of it fills me with horror.

    You can go in as an inpatient or outpatient and now he wants me to go as an outpatient 8-6 daily. He admitted they can’t stop you binging at home. I think this is useless. i would just binge at home and not go back in the next day.

    In the seesions you have therapy with psychologits (CBT) as well as psychiatrists, and group therapy. The one he wants me to go to does not have exercise sessions. They sort of don’t believe in incorporating exercise as many people with BED get fanatical about their exercise.

    I am inclined to want to do something that inspires me mentally and makes me feel well phsically and i suspect this wold make me feel more depressed and like a loser.

    I could try to get leave without pay on medical grounds and there is a chance they would accept.

    I don’t want to do it though.


    stay at home mom

    Hi Hope: I’m happy for you that you’ve made your decision. I also hope that some strategy or other that you come across in this forum or another place will help you towards some control for you. Keep us posted so we can cheer you on and hug you when the chips are down. Take care,




    Hi Helen

    Thanks for that. Its great to have all the support on this site. It’s more helful than the shrink actually!

    I’m going to keep searching.



    stay at home mom

    Hi Hope: I’ve never seen a shrink, and I wonder if they ever touch on our condition as being an obsessive-compulsive disorder. When I think about my own thinking pattern, it seems like I get thoughts of food when I’m tense about anything or even when I’m not tense. When people without BED feel tense, I guess they do other things like smoke, drink, run or whatever.

    I’ve come to a point where I realize that when I’m having what seem like obsessive thoughts about food, I don’t have to link it with the compulsion to eat it. Because I don’t restrict calories, I’m certain it’s not hunger…I think it’s more of a brain fart, if I’m not even feeling tense about something else.

    But, because even thinking of food for no particular reason annoys me because my chances of compulsively eating then go up, I’ve been using deep breathing at those moments to refocus and relax.

    You mentioned being more social as a good thing all around, and I agree. But I know on a minute to minute basis, companions are not necessarily available the moment we most need them, so I hope you can also find something that can help you ‘disconnect’ obsessive thoughts of food from compulsive eating of food.




    hi sara.. wow your posts were so informative but I have to agree that unless I was living there, I could definetely binge at home at night. Also, I know that for me personally, I would have a problem eating with anorexics because that used to be me and whenever I see really thin girls like that, I feel as though I failed in that department and didnt have the will to keep it up. It makes me want to stop eating all together. The clinic does sound interesting though. And you’re the worst case? GIVE ME A BREAK! I can’t believe that doctor had the nerve to say that to you especially when he should know that there is always worse. I know you’ll find the help that you need even if it’s not at that clinic!



    Thanks girls, and to answer your question Helen, Yes, it is widely accepted that bulimia and most BED is a type of OCD. The drugs, SSRI’s which are also indicated for depression, now have studies showing that they are effective for OCD and anxiety, so it is clearly all linked up.

    I took a quarter of a lexapro tablet yesterday for th first time when i was feeling the urge to binge. It didn’t stop me binging but felt spaced out and not good. They say it takes 6 weeks to work anyway, but i just wanted to test it for side effects , so i thought I might as well test it at a time when i was likely to binge anyway, as things like side effects forma drug can trigger a binge. Any discomfort triggers a binge.

    Helen, you sound to have way more control or should i say have made more progress than me. I do meditation daily in the morning but if I do something like that after the impulse to binge, it doesn’t stop me – its like I’m on a slide and theres no gtting off. I will try the breathing though

    Amanda, thanks for your comments. Yes, that upset me deeply when he said i was the worst case he’s ever seen. i guess because I’m i’ve had BED since i was 16 and now i’m 55, and i’ve done heaps of counselling, read books done everything i could. I even went to a faith heale once when i was completely broke and paid her $50.!!!!



    Also see my post under the heading of “fasting” started by someone else re the health retreats that do 21 day juice fasting cleanse with a program to overcome Binge eating. Its not just weight loss. It changes your thinking and breaks habits. I swear by it. It didn’t make me binge more, but less afterwards but i only ever did a week, not the full 21 days which is quite costly. It’s catually what i’m considering now , when i can get time and money. You juice fast for 4 days (vegetable juices every 3 hours) and then 2 days with health vegetatarian meals, then another 4 days on juice etc. You go for an hour walk every morning. Do yooga, mediate, have colonics, lectures. its uplifting. there are a few places that do it.



    The benefits of talking to a doctor early on in an illness are well-proven, with those who seek the professional care of a doctor having faster recovery times. This means that a person suffering an illness can avoid extra days missed at work, and get back on their feet quickly.



    I know that post was 3 years ago, but my goodness. A fast would never solve binge-eating disorder. People swear by these cleanses, but everything I’ve heard about them from medical professionals is that they’re horribly unhealthy. The weight you lose is almost always entirely made up in the next week because your body is in starvation mode and stores fat much more than it would if you were eating healthy. Not to mention, someone with binge eating disorder isn’t likely to make it the full 21 days without breaking down and binging. :)



    As a telemedicine specialist our work is typically confined to the medical conditions easily treated, where life can get back on track after the telehealth diagnosis. Life is not always made up of easily diagnosed and treated medical conditions, meaning that we need to step-up our service and provide information which deviates from our traditional telemedicine practice and share some hope as well as potential nontraditional uses of telemedicine.


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